Lethal Goings-on in Fourth Grade Science

I got a note home yesterday from my ten-year-old's teacher. 
It was a safety contract, which we both had to read and sign in order for him to participate–brace yourselves–in building a model car using K'nex. I include a link there for those of you who not only don't have one million of these most terrifying objects already scattered around your house, but don't even know what they are. 
Yeah. A safety contract. I confess I didn't read it fully, but I did notice it said things like my child agreed to wait for teacher instructions before proceeding from one step to the next and would not use the materials in any manner beyond that which he was specifically instructed. 
Isn't that the point of building toys? You buy them a bucket of random plastic or wooden parts and they don't need instructions? They use their imaginations and their uncluttered view of what is possible and they create?
I can see it now. The entire class, building identical cars, step by tedious step. I remember those projects in school. Come ON! Free the creative spirit, people! And for heaven's sake, a safety contract? 
You remember what you did in science class? When we were actually permitted to fire up the Bunsen burner every day and mix chemicals together and wield sharp objects over dead and decaying things? There were some safety issues back then–we burned our tongues and pricked our fingers in Home Ec, ran unaccompanied five miles through a rather frightening part of town during PE, and well, there was the kid who lost a finger in woodshop, but he was an imbecile. And there weren't any genes to blame–he was an imbecile by choice.
I get that they want the kids to be safe, and maybe even protect some of them from their own stupidity, but safety procedures for K'nex? Really? What's the worst that can happen to my ten year old–he gets one up his nose? What mother doesn't know how to fix that? And if she doesn't, well I say it's time she learned; and maybe the teacher, too.

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4 responses to “Lethal Goings-on in Fourth Grade Science

  • Emjay

    LOL – a friend of mine burnt off my eyebrows and fringe (bangs) with a Bunsen burner. I was holding a beaker of methylated spirits when she pointed the burner at me and the fumes ignited. Big fun as I was thrown to the ground by the teacher and wrapped in the fire blanket! Another kid was bitten by a deadly snake and then ran around like a maniac making himself sicker – he had to be airlifted away to a "proper" hospital. We had lead paint and asbestos in our school rooms. All our playground equipment had broken glass around the grounds. BUT – thank God we didn't have anything as dangerous as K'nex.

  • Sam's Life

    That is too stinking funny.

  • Kimber

    Seriously! How did we ever survive?

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